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May 2014, a month after isaloni 2014. Milan Design Week 2014 provide us a great design showcase, where Milan Design Agenda attended to see not only Italian design brands but also other internacional competitors at the same business area: design. But, that’s not all. Along with Salone Internazionale de Milano, there was room for Milan’s fashion brands exhibiting side by side, with furniture act during the city’s annual Salone del Mobile. But what was once an optional event has by now become a mandatory annual appointment. From the highest brands that have their own home furnishings collections (such as Versace, Giorgio Armani, Missoni and Etro) to the smaller labels that sell only shoes, nearly every key fashion brand participates in some small or large way during the 5 days. Here is Milan Design Agenda list of the best design initiatives helmed by fashion companies during the world’s most important furniture fair.
Shoemaker Alberto Guardiani teamed up with Wallpaper* for the fourth year running at this year’s Salone, asking us to conjure a window display and installation at its flagship Milanese store. Special mention to Delightfull, who at this store has some lamps.
Alexander McQueen’s partnership with the Rug Company goes back more than five years, this year resulting in a new seven-piece collection at the Salone del Mobile.
Giorgio Armani is one of a handful of fashion designers who helms a full-scale furniture line that can ostensibly cover every square inch of one’s home. The final frontier left to conquer in his home interiors empire was wallpaper, which the designer swiftly did this season in collaboration with Jannelli e Volpi. The full range of wall-coverings includes fine digital prints as well as more earthy materials – such as silk, sisal and shantung – that create the neutral, but visually stimulating palette for which Armani is known.
This season, creative director Tomas Maier opened his studio doors to a whole new world of materials – from four different shades of tinted oak wood, to veiny black and gold marble and lush velvet fabrics in a lemon yellow – creating a wider and richer offering of home wares than ever before.
Though Pucci has had an ongoing collaboration with Cappellini for the production of print-tastic upholstered furniture (which was shown at Rho), this is the first year that the Florentine house has collaborated with the tile titans at Bisazza.
Hermès’ news this season was the launch of a lighting collection, its first since the French brand first began to create home furnishings in 1920s. Creative director Pierre Alexis Dumas tapped two creative workhorses for the job: Italian architect Michele de Lucchi, who presented two collections of mechanically-driven leather and steel table and floor lamps; and French artist Yann Kersale who created a leather-trimmed lantern. De Lucchi also designed the installation in Palazzo Serbelloni.
Precious wools, crisp linens and silk velvets featured a spicy palette of colours and an exotic array of patterns, some of which were created by embossing or imprime, all of which were designed specifically for upholsteries, draperies or wall tapestries.
Missoni has been in the home furnishings game for decades, but this is the first year that the Italian fashion house has collaborated with ceramics specialist Richard Ginori.
Salvatore Ferragamo’s large windows along Milan’s Via Montenapolone provided the striking backdrop to Molteni’s re-editions of Gio Ponti furniture, which certainly deserve the spotlight. A pair of Gio Ponti chairs, originally designed in 1953 and 1970, as well as a drawer set from the 1950s, were featured in the windows.
The Italian fashion giant unveiled the ‘Palazzo’ sofa – the first in a new family of furniture by creative director Donatella Versace – inspired by the brand’s bag of the same name. Rendered in luxurious eggshell-grey Nubuck leather, the sofa is upholstered entirely by hand. Its sloping arms, containing cleverly concealed drawers, are embellished with golden Medusa heads, a nod to the house’s insignia.
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